- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - New information from the Oklahoma Department of Health shows dramatic increases in breastfeeding initiation rates in the state.

Information from the agency’s Women, Infants and Children Program shows breastfeeding rates in the state have surpassed state and national averages and achieved the Healthy People 2020 goals six years early. Healthy People is a science-based, 10-year national initiative that sets objectives for improving the health of all Americans nationwide.

Typically, mothers in the program tend to have some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country, yet the percentage of Oklahoma mothers breastfeeding reached an all-time high of 82.1 percent in 2014.

In Health Department clinics that have a breastfeeding peer counselor program, breastfeeding rates are even higher at 85.1 percent. Counselors are breastfeeding mothers who are trained to provide support.

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